Earnings and employment problems in the agricultural sector have previously led to large relocation to the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Due to economic problems in neighboring countries, many emigrants have returned in recent years and thus contributed to the population increase in recent times. In 2019, 29 percent of the population lived in cities, the largest of which were Ouagadougou (2.5 million residents, 2019) and Bobo-Dioulasso (1 million).
According to Countryaah, the population of Burkina Faso consists of about 15 larger and some 50 smaller ethnic groups, almost all of whom feed on hack farming in combination with small scale livestock management. Base crops are millet and sorghum, and maize, peanuts, beans and vegetables are grown, as well as cotton for sale.
The largest group is mossi (8.4 million), who live in the central and northern parts of the country. The Mossi people were previously organized in four traditional kingdoms (Yatenga, Ouagadougou, Tenkodogo and Fada Ngourma). Culturally related to the moss are gurma (880,000) in the east, kurumba (260,000) in the north and bisexual (514,000) in the south, against the border with Togo. West of the mossi range is in northern samo (173,000) and land (364,000), which are culturally related to bamboo in Mali, and in southern gurunsi (750,000).
The southern and western parts of the country are inhabited by a number of tribal people who are acephal, ie. lacks formal political leadership; biggest is bobo (also called bwa) (445,000), which together with senufo (250,000, and over 2.5 million in Mali and Ivory Coast) are known for their dance masks, which are used for initiation rites and ceremonies in secret societies. In the south, towards the border with Ghana and Ivory Coast, live the culturally related peoples lobi (258,000), dagari (471,000) and birifor (188,000), who fought with great perseverance against the colonization of their territory by the French and who still today was very little affected by both Islam and Christianity.
In addition to the agricultural peoples, there are livestock- feeding fulani (1.2 million) in the country’s north-east and the trading people Dyula (305,000), who speak a dialect of Malinke and are found throughout much of West Africa. Both of these groups are 100% Muslim. If a substantial part of an agricultural group begins to engage in trade and turns to Islam, the term dyula is often added to the group’s name (eg bobo-dyula, dagari-duyla).
In Burkina Faso, some sixty native languages are spoken, all of which belong to the Niger-Congo languages (mainly the Gur, Mande and Atlantic languages). The largest languages are moore (53% of the population), fulani (13%?) And dyula (10%), all of which are used as interpersonal languages. The official language is the colonial language, French. See further Population above.
The first Catholic missionaries came to this part of Africa, which was then under French control, in 1900. In 1919, Burkina Faso became a French colony named Upper Volta. The country became independent in 1960.
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In 2010, 22% of the population was stated to be Christian, 54% Muslim and 24% adherent to traditional African religions.
Burkina Faso is a republic of democratic and secular state, which also entails a high degree of religious freedom and a low degree of state regulation of the religious communities.